Petroleum contains natural radionuclides. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Radioactivity concentration in liquid and solid phases of scale and sludge generated in the petroleum industry.
J Environ Radioact. 2005;81(1):47-54. PMID: 15748660
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Scales and sludge generated during oil extraction and production can contain uranium, thorium, radium and other natural radionuclides, which can cause exposure of maintenance personnel. This work shows how the oil content can influence the results of measurements of radionuclide concentration in scale and sludge. Samples were taken from a PETROBRAS unit in Northeast Brazil. They were collected directly from the inner surface of water pipes or from barrels stored in the waste storage area of the E&P unit. The oil was separated from the solids with a Soxhlet extractor by using aguarras at 90+/-5 degrees C as solvent. Concentrations of 226Ra and 228Ra in the samples were determined before and after oil extraction by using an HPGe gamma spectrometric system. The results showed an increase in the radionuclide concentration in the solid (dry) phase, indicating that the above radionuclides concentrate mostly in the solid material.